Call the police! I think I know where Hamilton’s `Dope Ring’ is. I’m fairly certain it resides at City Hall. I had a gig outside Hamilton this past week. Happy with my thoughts of a successful show, my eyes promptly filled with terror and my heart beat a little quicker. I was entering The Hammer! (Play `Psycho’ theme here). I usually take the 403 into the city but decided to travel the Linc and onto Mud Street. I had heard from many folks that the 403 was a minefield of potholes. Hence, I changed my route to the Linc. Upon traversing Mud Street, my left front tire exploded thanks to a giant pothole. I almost bounced my chin off the steering wheel. The vehicle’s computer warned me of a pressure leak. Instead of a redundant bulletin perhaps the car should just display a stick figure standing by the side of the road screaming an expletive. Traffic was heavy and I turned on my hazard lights.

I made a left onto Highway 20 and limped to the safety of a gas station. I stepped out of the car and was met with ferocious winds that chilled me to the bone. I looked at the deflating tire and retrieved an air compressor I keep in the trunk. Hoping against hope I soon realized the tire wouldn’t hold oxygen and called roadside assistance. The tow truck driver informed me that my car was the ninth tire blowout of the evening due to the `Dope Ring’s’ neglected roads. At the dealer the next day to get a new specific tire, I was told it would be a two hour wait because there were sixteen other vehicles needing tire replacements and suspension repairs thanks again to the `Dope Ring’. I know the weather, temperature and plows play havoc with heaving asphalt thereby giving birth to black-holed craters but I find it odd that no other town I have visited has quite the same level of road misery as Hamilton, even in fair weather. Why is that? I can tell you. Hamilton’s `Dope Ring’ and previous `Dope Rings’ have ignored infrastructure so irresponsibly that travelling any road in the city is equal to The von Trapp Family battling The Alps! What infuriates me further is the fact that twenty-two unionized city workers stole asphalt last year and distributed the materials for profit. If I was part of the `Dope Ring’ I would force those individuals to dig up that asphalt at their expense and then fill in the myriad of potholes throughout the city, also at their expense. In a related subject, the `Dope Ring’ is contemplating turning Hamilton into a `Sanctuary City’ where non-status immigrants can receive social services without fear of Federal laws and enforcement.

I have a better idea. Since my suggestion of those twenty-two city workers making amends for their thievery will fall upon deaf ears due to a nauseatingly liberal justice system, grant immediate status to those immigrants and pay them to fill in the potholes. I am certain they would rather work for their benefits than a free ride and the taxpayers would be happy too. Then again, they would be forced to join the union and it would defeat the entire purpose. I find it absolutely incredible that the city has six people prowling for potholes yet some of the largest caverns on our roads have been untouched for months. For example, at the base of Highway 20 where it meets the QEW there is a sickeningly massive pothole beneath the train tracks overpass. The abyss is so huge traffic is reduced to one lane. Why hasn’t the `Dope Ring’ repaired this? Can they not use a temporary fill? Sand, dirt, gravel or even the political BS that seems to be in ample supply would suffice.

Since the games in Sochi just ended I believe Hamilton should forego the Pan- Am Games and bid for the next available Winter Olympics. We could add a new sport called `The Car Slalom’. In this event, drivers have to negotiate Hamilton’s pockmarked streets and the first to finish the course without disintegrating a tire or attaining suspension or alignment damage wins the gold. Silver will be awarded to the driver who suffered minimal carnage and maintained his or her bladder. Bronze will be will bestowed upon the driver who lost a tire but didn’t bend the rim. Of course the medals will feature the `Dope Ring’ and when you peel away the gold, silver or bronze overlay the recipient discovers a chocolate treat. The city would have used genuine metals but sadly they spent some of that money on new rocks for the Royal Botanical Gardens… which would have been better utilized to fill in the potholes! Sigh. Drive safe.

By: Ben Guyatt

Ben Guyatt is a stand-up comedian and a published author- visit www.amazon.com. He also hosts The Ben Guyatt Show every Sunday at 9 pm on AM 900 CHML.

Providing a Fresh Perspective for Burlington and Hamilton.

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